Penguins get place to nest
Boardwalk boxes built for little bluesEMMA BAILEY
We have houses, so should they, Stuart Croft reckons.
After reading about the little blue penguins nesting under the boardwalk on Caroline Bay and on the rocks along Marine Pde, in the Timaru Herald, Mr Croft decided to build nesting boxes with the help of Bluestone pupils.
The Conservation Department said blue penguin numbers had increased in the area, although an accurate tally was not known. Five years ago a count revealed there were up to six nesting pairs.
Yesterday year 7 students at the school put together six nesting boxes with the help of Mr Croft and Mitre 10 Mega trade manager Hayden Blades.
"I cut out all the timber after Bill Steans from the Timaru District Council gave me the measurement he got from Oamaru DOC," Mr Croft said.
"I grew up on a farm and none of our lambs ever died because dad would put them under cover in a pen with the mum, and after reading the article I thought about that and also thought we have houses why shouldn't they [blue penguins] have houses.
"I rang Mitre 10 who donated the timber and rang Bluestone because I have bit to do with [principal] Ian Poulter and thought the name fitted well."
The boxes will be put down by the Timaru Yacht Club and the boardwalk where the penguins were thought to be nesting .
"I have got the kids to write their names in the boxes so when they are numbered we will be able to tell them where we have put them. If they are successful we will make some more. I am on the lookout for more projects like this," Mr Croft said.
Mr Poulter said the pupils thought it was cool helping the penguins.
"They are doing something for the future and hopefully saving the penguins from extinction."
The little blue penguin is the world's smallest penguin at just 35 centimetres to 43cm tall and weighing a little over 1 kilogram.
- © Fairfax NZ News
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